The mission of the Reserve Forces is to "contribute to the UK's military capability, both deployed overseas and in the UK, whilst maintaining links with society and the local community."

Currently, one third of the Armed Forces of the UK comes from the ranks of the Volunteer Forces. Some 35,000 men and women serve in the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR), the Royal Marines Reserve (RMR), the Army Reserve (AR) and the Royal Air Force Reserves (RAF Res). Within the North East, there are some 2,500 volunteers in the RNR, RMR, Army Reserve and RAF Res.

Reservists are ordinary people who come from diverse backgrounds. They give up their spare time to train and serve alongside Regular personnel in the Armed Forces. As valued members of the Defence family, Reservists enhance their everyday lives through adventurous and challenging experiences. They receive world-class training to develop new skills and qualifications to boost their civilian lives.

In recent years, the role of the Reserves has transformed dramatically following the downsizing of all three Services in the 1990s and the increased operational activity overseas since 2001. The requirement for a highly skilled, professional Reserve to augment their full time counterparts has become of the utmost importance in order to maintain an effective national defence. The effectiveness of the Reserves was proven when, in 2003, 6,900 personnel were mobilized as part of the force which liberated Iraq - some 15% of the total deployed force. In subsequent years, the Reserves have continued to supply high-quality men and women to theatres around the globe and have supplied an average of 1,200 personnel each year. The most recent restructuring of the Reserve Forces aims to fully integrate Reserves with their Regular, full-time colleagues. With this reorganisation of the Reserves, the already high standards are set to rise once again.

Latest Reserve news


Lord Lieutenant of County Durham sends D-Day Message ...

Mrs Sue Snowdon, Lord Lieutenant of County Durham and Vice President North of England RFCA commemorates the D-Day 80th Anniversary with a letter to all Cadet Forces within her County. Find out more

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Lord Lieutenant of Co Durham

Tues 5 Mar 24, Mrs Sue Snowdon, Lord Lieutenant of County Durham and Vice-President NE RFCA, presented her Lord Lieutenant's Certificates for Meritorious Service to members of the Reserves, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and civilian staff from all 3 Services Find out more

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Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkishire

On Tuesday, 27 Feb 24, Mrs Jo Ropner, Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire and Vice-President North of England RFCA, presented her Lord Lieutenant's Certificates for Meritorious Service. Find out more

Military vs Cancer's Armed Forces Rugby Event

Esh Construction - one of our DRS Gold Award companies is supporting the Militaary vs Cancer's armed forces Rugby Event. Find out more


RFCA Conference emphasises defence stability and societal support

The Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Associations' (RFCA) annual conference on 8 November attracted a diverse audience from the RFCA networks. Find out more

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Festival of Remembrance Service at Durham Cathedral

“A credit to the County and the cadet movements they represent”. Lt Col Barney Barnbrook, Regional Director North East and Yorkshire Army Benevolent Fund, said of the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadets who took part in the Festival of Remembrance Service at Durham Cathedral on Saturday,
11 November 2023. Find out more


A Boost into Space for Air Cadets

After a year of 'studying space', 9 Cadets and Staff from 2505 (Bishop Auckland) Sqn RAF AC go on the trip of a lifetime to Florida with help from the Viscount Ridley's Cadet Forces' Trust. Find out more


DCC Debbie Ford named Commando of the Week on Royal Marines Reserve winter training exercise.

As one of our supportive employers and a Silver Award winner of the MOD’s Employer Recognition Scheme, Northumbria Police Force was invited to send a representative to observe members of the Royal Marines Reserve (RMR) on their cold-climate training programme in Bardufoss, Norway in March this year. That ‘lucky volunteer’ was Deputy Chief Constable Debbie Ford, who joined 14 other organisations from London, Highland RFCA and Lowland RFCA on a different sort of exercise……. Find out more

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Gold Awards for 7 North East Employers

Seven North East employers awarded Gold for their support to the Armed Forces. Find out more

Step into Health - Career in the NHS?

The Step into Health programme connects ex-service candidates from across the Armed Forces community with employers and new opportunities in the NHS. This event will take place on Wednesday 19th July and is specifically aimed at the Armed Forces Community. Find out more

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19 North of England Employers gain MOD ERS Silver Awards

We are pleased to announce that 19 North of England organisations, in demonstrating their support to the Armed Forces, have been recognised by the award of the MOD’s Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award. In addition, twelve organisations, having shown their continued support over the previous 5 years, have had their Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award revalidated. Find out more

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Army Reserve Transformation Newsletter Update

The Integrated Review set the British Army on a course for radical transformation. Under ‘Future Soldier’, we will become a modern Army; more agile, more integrated and more expeditionary. Our nation’s Reservists are central to this. Find out more


CCFs' Annual Camp goes ahead after all!

Polam Hall School and Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College CCFs were devastated when they did not get a CTT Central Camp slot this year and it looked as though their annual camps would not take place. Find out more

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MOD ERS Gold Awards for nine North East employers

GOLD AWARDS FOR NORTH EAST EMPLOYERS. Nine NE Employers have been awarded Gold for their support to the Armed Forces and a tenth has had their Gold Award Revalidated. Gold is the highest award available under the MOD’s Employer Recognition Scheme. Find out more

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A "brilliant performance" from Daniel

Redcar Cadet, LCpl Daniel Loader, a member of Cleveland ACF, had gone over to France with his Dad, for the memorial events early in June, and had even taken his cadet uniform to wear when paying his respects. He was swiftly spotted by The Yorkshire Regiment and included in their group, and was ‘roped’ in to help with events. Find out more

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Duchess of Northumberland presents her Lord Lieutenant's Certificates for Meritorious Service

The Duchess of Northumberland presented her Lord Lieutenant’s Certificates for Meritorious Service to Reservists and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers from all three Services on Tuesday 5 April 2022. In congratulating recipients on their awards the Duchess said she was “greatly impressed by the outstanding work carried out over many years by Volunteers who had achieved great things and given unconditionally of their spare time”. The Duchess also presented Cadet Proficiency Awards to members of the Army Cadet Force and appointed her Lord Lieutenant’s Cadets for 2022. Find out more

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Employers Enjoy Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations

Eight Defence ERS Gold winning organisations were hosted by the NE RFCA Chairman and the Engagement Team in London over the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations. Find out more